Recently I read something about startup expenses that got me thinking. I wish I could find the thing I read again, but I can’t remember who wrote it and so I can’t locate it.
The thing was a list of business expenses that a coach could reasonably expect when starting their business.
My Thoughts On Startup Expenses
The list included things like a website and VA support with social media marketing. Coach supervision and mentor coaching. It even included professional indemnity insurance and business card printing.
All these things are ‘nice to haves’.
Here’s the kicker; not one of them is necessary if you don’t have clients.
VA support is a legitimate business expense if you have the business income to pay for it. Otherwise, it’s simply expensive.
Your website isn’t the first thing you have as a new coach. In fact, you’re better of without a website at all and simply an excellent LinkedIn profile than the usual coach website which is (hold your hat, I’m about to be controversial!) usually rubbish. Beautiful rubbish, I grant you, but rubbish nevertheless.
Usually, a coach’s website is all about them. It has beautiful photos of them, a list of who they think they can help – which is absolutely anyone – and a list of their qualifications.
The problem with this kind of website is that it does nothing. Certainly not generating clients.
It isn’t ever found amongst the 3 trillion URLs out there because actually, hardly anyone is searching for a coach. It doesn’t tell anyone anything they need to know, because (kicker number 2 coming right up) nobody cares about you, your backstory, or your qualifications. They care about one thing and one thing only; what’s in it for them. If your website isn’t crystal clear on what they get (kicker number 3 about to be served) and it’s not ‘clarity’ or ‘authenticity’ if they do happen upon it, they’ll disappear sharpish.
VA Support With Marketing As A Startup
The issue around having VA support with your marketing is that it has to be your marketing message. A VA isn’t a marketing guru, they’re a VA. They can implement whatever you want but it has to be what you want. It isn’t their job to write your marketing strategy or marketing material. That’s your job.
That Business Expense List
The one thing that was missing off the startup business expense list was the one thing that is essential if you want a financially viable coaching business: training in how to market your new coaching business. Without understanding what you need to do to get paying clients everything else on the list is an unnecessary expense.
You wouldn’t have coached without honing your coaching skills via a professional qualification. Why would you market yourself with anything less than training from those who have the other skills you need too?
The number of coaches who start their businesses by spending on unnecessary things and not on the essentials is heartbreaking. If I could have a penny for every coach who has said to me “how I wish I’d found The Coaching Revolution before I’d wasted _______” (you can insert either a length of time or a sum of money into that blank).
Do you know what you’re doing when it comes to marketing your coaching as a professional service? Would you like to? Perhaps we should talk? This is my diary.